L.A. approves Arizona boycott resolution

Posted May 12, 2010 by David Silverberg
Today, Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution to boycott Arizona over its contentious new law targeting illegal immigration. L.A. becomes the largest city to boycott the state.
A protest sign in downtown Los Angeles to protest Arizona s new immigration law
A protest sign in downtown Los Angeles to protest Arizona's new immigration law
Arizona's tourism and trade relations is facing another blow today -- L.A. City Council passed a resolution 13-1 to boycott the state, cancelling around $8 million in contracts. At issue is the state's recent new law focused on illegal immigrants. The law is set to take effect in late July and it allows police to question a person about their citizenship status if they suspect that the person might not be a legal citizen
On Wednesday, L.A passed the resolution, which "bars Los Angeles from conducting business with Arizona unless the law is repealed," according to an Associated Press report.
Investment and deals worth $52 million are at stake with this decision. Contracts for airport, harbor and trucking services could be affected, according to a report from the city's chief legislative analyst.
But officials must decide which contracts the city can kill without risking a lawsuit.
The resolution claims Arizona's new law encourages racial profiling and is unconstitutional. As AP reports, "the law requires police enforcing another law to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is 'reasonable suspicion' that the person is in the United States illegally and makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. Several lawsuits seeking to block its implementation are pending in U.S. District Court in Phoenix."
L.A.'s move is the latest headache afflicting Arizona. Phoenix risks losing as much as $90 million in hotel and convention business over the next five years because of the immigration-law controversy, the Washington Post points out. Arizona's "hotel and lodging association has counted 23 canceled meetings for a loss of between $6 and $10 million," the Post reports.
Recently, Mexican President Felipe Calderón advised Mexicans to avoid travel to Arizona, according to a Digital Journal article. Also, Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, urged Major League Baseball players to boycott the 2011 All- Star Game in Phoenix.
Interestingly, a recent survey by by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 59 percent of adults polled approved the Arizona's law, Reuters reports. The survey also found that
Democrats are evenly split over the Arizona law...with 45 percent backing it and 46 percent saying they disapprove of it.